Like many people, here at NHR we are big fans of lavender. Of all the oils, lavender is probably the best known and most widely used for a whole host of different situations, from first aid, to perfumery to cleaning.
So it was with great excitement that myself, Laura and Amy went to visit Mayfield Lavender Farm in Surrey earlier in the summer. Mayfield Lavender is an organic farm certified by the Soil Association which produces a range of delightful gifts and distills its own essential oils.
There are as many as 30 different types of lavender used around the world for producing essential oils but Mayfield focuses on three of the best known and most useful. Two varieties of Lavandula angustifolia- Folgate and Maillette- are grown along with Spike Lavender, Lavandula spica, which is known to have the highest yield of oil. Spike Lavender has a higher camphor content than true lavender, making it particularly useful for respiratory issues, though unlike true lavender which is mostly very safe, it should be avoided for use with small children, epileptics and in pregnancy.
Mayfield also houses several beehives and it was a pleasure to see the bees enjoying the plants as much as we were. Lavender is an important plant for bees and insects as well as for humans so it’s a lovely addition to the wildlife friendly garden.
We all bought a couple of plants for our own gardens at home and for planting outside our shop in Brighton. We were particularly taken with this lovely pink variety!
The main producers of lavender essential oil are Bulgaria and France but there is a long tradition of lavender fields in England too, especially around this area where the original Yardley fields were situated.
if you are also a lavender fan, check back here in a few days when we’ll be posting a delicious raw chocolate recipe using organic lavender essential oil.